Here are a few ideas for separating the “no-whey” from the protein of cultured non-dairy things…I’m sure there are a million more ways to do this. I usually go with cheap and easy so I’ll start off there!
- Most people have a strainer and a pot and a cloth napkin. This works super well and you can pick it up and move it really easily. I think a colander would work too, though it might take longer to drip out because the holes in the colander are usually further apart.
2. Big hair band and a big cloth and a pot. This method works really well too, when the strainer is being used. This method is probably the fastest, with the least amount of blockage between the cloth and the curd. You can also scrape the sides down more easily with this method than the above because the cloth is tauter and doesn’t move.
3. Purchase a greek yogurt maker. I don’t use this device, so I can’t speak directly to it’s effectiveness, though it does seem convenient. For me, it’s another thing to store in a small kitchen space, so I prefer to use what I’ve got on hand, but to each her own!
It’s zucchini season! Here’s a delicious recipe that utilizes a ton of zucchini and it’s very easy too. We used spring chanterelles picked in coastal Pacific Northwest, but other mushrooms can be substituted with no problems-easy to access crimini or Portobello or shitake are delicious as well.
One giant zucchini (or four medium or 8 small)
¼ teaspoon salt
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 cups spaghetti sauce
½ c chopped fresh basil
kalamata olives for garnish
Avellana Creamery hazelnut Parmesan
- Slice or spiralize your zucchini into long thin strips. I left the skins on.
- Toss the noodles with salt and put them in a colander to drain for thirty minutes or so. If you don’t have time to drain the zucchini you can strain out the extra water after you’ve cooked it and its fine, though your noodles might be a little less crunchy. You may actually need to drain them anyway, depending.
- Put the spaghetti sauce on low heat to warm up.
- Next heat a large skillet. If you’re using chanterelles you’ll need to dry sauté them, sauté them with no oil, to cook out the water they hold. If you’re using crimini you should add a tablespoon of oil and start with the mushrooms.
- I peeled and sliced the garlic and put it in next, then the zucchini noodles. I cooked everything until the noodles were al dente, which was around 3-4 minutes on high heat, stirring regularly then removed from heat. (Here’s where you may need to strain any extra water that’s cooked out of the zucchini.)
- Plate up your noodles, making sure to place the mushrooms throughout, put spaghetti sauce on top (to taste), and garnish with chopped basil, kalamata olives, and Avellana Parmesan.
One reason that sourcing local products as ingredients for our cheese is so important to us at Avellana is because we believe in fair compensation for work done in fair conditions. When a product is produced in far away countries with minimal laws protecting workers, it is easy for human rights to fall through the cracks. Buying local is often more expensive, mostly because the labor involved in making the product has not been artificially reduced at the cost of quality of life for the the laborer.
Human beings are a members of the animal kingdom and as vegans, we at Avellana support the rights of animals. All living beings deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Buying local or fair trade certified products can help ensure these rights are being honored.
We purchase hazelnuts directly from Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon. We’ve visited the orchard and met the family that grows all the hazelnuts we use.
We purchase most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that takes great pride in their trade policies. They are certified by the Institute for Marketecology’s Fair for Life program, a program that goes deeper than traditional fair trade programs by requiring and tracking ethical practices from the starting point of the product all the way to the finished salable item. From their website:
WHAT IS GOOD TRADE?
- Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
- Fair Labor Conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct Trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and Transparent Organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
- Community Development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
- Environmental Sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
At Avellana, we believe in treating the inhabitants of our world with kindness and compassion and we strive to ensure that our products reflect that belief.
Even though we don’t do much with almonds here at Avellana, we really do love all nuts and seeds almost equally. As the threat and reality of drought comes clearer to us on the west coast, I’m hearing more and more talk about how much water it takes to produce almonds. This has definitely left me scratching my head at the twists and turns the human mind will take in order to avoid looking at the white elephant sitting in the cheese drawer of the fridge.
If it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce one almond and there are around 100 almonds in a pound, it stands to reason that one pound of almonds uses 110 gallons of water during it’s production. In comparison, it takes 1,817 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It takes 700 gallons of water to produce one pound of cheese.
Dairy products contribute the single largest share of farm income [in California’s economy.] (from Wikipedia)
Meat and dairy production have a far greater negative impact on drought stricken California. Why are almonds taking the blame? Do away with almonds and you’ll still have the problem. We fear our beloved hazelnuts will be next! Not really, but the hard truth is that animal agriculture ravages the environment. The time for cognitive dissonance has passed. It’s time for a new renaissance in our food choices! We can make fully informed decisions on what we buy and how it affects our Earth.
Rock on nuts and seeds!
Local Eugene folks can find us at Sundance, Capella, Kiva and the OG Corner Market. All four of our signature cheeses can also be found in Portland, Oregon at Food Fight! Grocery.